A year ago, 43 Parallelo struggled with the same Saturday craziness as many other charter operators. “During the high season, we had to do 18 check-ins a day,” said owner Dario Zana.
When they were turning around every boat in their fleet—at 2 to 2.5 hours per boat—the process required significant time and manpower.
Nowadays, though, Saturdays are much smoother sailing. Instead of technician walk-throughs
taking an hour, they take 10-20 minutes.
Why? Because 43 Parallelo began using an App
(Enaviga’s app, to be specific) to check in clients.
Why the app makes a difference
“In particular, what attracted us was the possibility for the client to discover the boat in
advance,” Zana said.
This means that when guests arrive at the Marina, they already have a
good sense of what they’re going to find on board. “It helps the client to be more confident
with the boat,” he added.
Additionally, it reduces the paperwork needed at check-in.
Prior to using the app, 43 Parallelo had more than 150 check-in criteria that clients needed to
go through, divided into groups (deck equipment, navigation equipment, etc).
Clients had to
find the equipment on board by searching on a paper map, finding a corresponding letter, and
working their way through a booklet of materials.
(43 Parallelo created custom paper
instruction manuals for every boat in their fleet, taking up time and effort.)
With the app, both of these processes were automated. The number of check-in criteria was
streamlined to 70, and clients were able to explore videos and photos of the boat’s different
features prior to check-in.
Winning clients over
“Many clients were enthusiastic about it, even if they were quite skeptical at first,” said Zana.
After all, the sailing community is small, and many renters are repeat customers who are used
to doing things a certain way. For this clientele, shifting to an app-based check in may be met
with resistance. “It’s a brand-new system, and clients are not used to it. I think it will take some
time for them to process,” Zana said.
Another challenge is getting guests to download the app. Some may ignore the prompt to
download the app—perhaps they don’t want another app on their phone, or they ignored the
email, or any number of other reasons.
“That is a pity,” said Zana. “Downloading the app before coming to the base is one of the strong
points of the system.”
Even if guests haven’t downloaded the app ahead of time, though, they can still benefit. Zana’s
staff can encourage them to download the app at check-in, since the videos and pictures
featured are accessible offline, and can serve as a reference or manual to help guests once on
Now that 43 Parallelo has improved the check-in process using technology, it’s likely they’ll
continue to do so. In fact, they may even upgrade to their own app, featuring their own
company’s branding, to help improve brand awareness with their clients.
Sidebar: Working with Enaviga
43 Parallelo was one of the first clients to begin using Enaviga’s app for check-in and booking
management. As such, Enaviga worked closely with 43 Parallelo to understand pain points and
improve the app. Here’s what their team had to say about working with Enaviga (edits have
been made for brevity and clarity):
Working with Enaviga was enjoyable, as we found people always available to help us
with our needs. Ivan, the person who followed us during the process, was always ready
to answer us and help us with the problems we had during the check-ins, via email and
even by phone.
During the process, Enaviga took into consideration all of our observations and
concerns. They made changes to the app from the minute we started using it, thanks to
our observations and requests.
It took us more or less 3 months to be able to do all of the check-ins via app.
Initially, we had to upload all of our boats on the website. Then, Ivan came to our base
to inspect our boats and take pictures and videos for the app. It took us 3 days to do all
the material for our 18-boat fleet.
Then it came the hardest part. We had to upload all the materials on the website, and
make sure that everything matched with the features of each boat, including locations of equipment, descriptions and translations. We also had to change the structure of our
old checklist to adapt it to the logics of the app, where everything is divided into areas.
We then started testing the app with clients. After check-in, we asked them for their
opinions and took note of what could be changed and what didn’t work. Then, we
communicated all of our notes to Ivan, who was in touch with the developer of the app,
and who made changes accordingly.
Our intention is to continue using the app for check-in procedures.